We Now Know What Happened to the Afghan Interpreter Who Saved Joe Biden

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

There were a lot of Afghan allies left behind by Joe Biden during the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

But perhaps one of the ones it hit the hardest was the Afghan interpreter who actually had helped to rescue then-Sen. Joe Biden in 2008 when he had to make an emergency landing in a snowstorm in the country, Aman Khalili. Along with Biden on that trip were former senators John Kerry and Chuck Hagel who he also helped rescue.


Although President Biden had promised for months that he would get out Afghan allies to whom we had an obligation, he left thousands like Aman Khalili and his family behind, as we reported.

The Wall Street Journal is now using his real name because Khalili and his family are now safely out of the country after a lot of effort by a group of U.S. veterans from Arizona with whom Khalili had worked with on that 2008 mission.

Khalili was actually rejected for an SIV in 2016 when Biden was Vice President despite what he did for Biden in 2008, because the defense contractor with whom he worked didn’t respond to requests with regard to him.

When the country then fell to the Taliban, he tried to get out through the Kabul Airport at the end of August with thousands of others. They wouldn’t let his family in and he wouldn’t leave without them.

He then spoke to the WSJ and appealed to Biden personally. “Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family,” he said. “Don’t forget me here.”


When asked about him, the White House promised they would get him out.

Many people tried to help to get him out after his story became known, among them Glenn Beck’s group who was trying fly people out of Mazar-i-Sharif. The veterans got him 250 miles overland to Mazar-i-Sharif but they were unable to get him on a plane.

The veterans then turned to Safi Rauf, an Afghan-American who worked as a linguist with U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and his Human Coalition group who has gotten thousands out.

“When it came to my desk, everybody else had given up on him,” said Mr. Rauf. “We made a promise to these people that if you help us bring democracy to Afghanistan and justice to America we will not leave you behind. I believe we owe these Afghan people a dignified life.”

The group assured the Arizona National Guard veterans that they could get Mr. Khalili and his family out overland to Pakistan. The U.S. veterans were afraid the route was too dangerous, those involved said. With no better options, the veterans decided to give it a try. So the coalition’s teams on the ground in Afghanistan picked up Mr. Khalili and his family in the north and drove two days across the country to the southern border with Pakistan, where they prepared to cross.


He was then able to get into Pakistan with his family.

How much did the Biden team have to do with getting him to that point? Sounds like nothing.

Some veterans who worked to rescue Mr. Khalili said the Biden administration hadn’t done enough to help the Afghan interpreter and countless others still asking the U.S. for help.

Once he was out, the Biden team did get him on board a U.S. military plane bound for Doha, Qatar, and they said they were fast tracking a new special immigrant visa for him.

Khalili said he was thankful to everyone for helping get him and his family out. “We are so grateful to America for completing its promise.”


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